Al Jazeera reports that at least 12 protesters were shot dead by security forces during Friday’s ‘day of rage’, during which at least 17 demonstrations were held throughout Iraq.
Iraqi security forces detained hundreds of people, including prominent journalists, artists and intellectuals, according to a report from the Washington Post.
Four journalists described being rounded up well after they had left a protest at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, following which they were handcuffed, blindfolded, beaten and threatened with execution by soldiers from an army intelligence unit.
Protests continued on Saturday, with around 2,000 protesters rallying in central Sulaimaniya to protest against poor basic services.
Meanwhile, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called on Iraq’s government and parliament to take serious steps in improving electricity services, providing jobs and fighting corruption in the country, where progress remains slow eight years after the U.S. invasion.
(Sources: Reuters, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera)